The Right Kind of Crazy A True Story of Teamwork Leadership and High Stakes Innovation From Adam Steltzner who led the Entry Descent and Landing team in landing the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars comes a profound book about breakthrough innovation in the face of the impossib

  • Title: The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation
  • Author: Adam Steltzner
  • ISBN: 9781591846925
  • Page: 235
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From Adam Steltzner, who led the Entry, Descent, and Landing team in landing the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars, comes a profound book about breakthrough innovation in the face of the impossible The Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL is home to some of history s most jaw dropping feats of engineering When NASA needed to land Curiosity a 2,000 pound, 2.5 billion roveFrom Adam Steltzner, who led the Entry, Descent, and Landing team in landing the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars, comes a profound book about breakthrough innovation in the face of the impossible The Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL is home to some of history s most jaw dropping feats of engineering When NASA needed to land Curiosity a 2,000 pound, 2.5 billion rover on the surface of Mars, 140 million miles away, they turned to JPL Steltzner s team couldn t test their kooky solution, the Sky Crane They were on an unmissable deadline, and the world would be watching when they succeeded or failed At the helm of this effort was an unlikely rocket scientist and accidental leader, Adam Steltzner After barely graduating from high school, he followed his curiosity to the local community college to find out why the stars moved Soon he discovered an astonishing gift for math and physics After getting his Ph.D he ensconced himself within JPL, NASA s decidedly unbureaucratic cousin, where success in a mission is the only metric that matters The Right Kind of Crazy is a first person account of innovation that is relevant to any one working in science, art, or technology For instance, Steltzner describes How his team learned to switch from fear based to curiosity based decision making How to escape The Dark Room the creative block caused by fear, uncertainty, and the lack of a clear path forward How to tell when we re too in love with our own ideas to be objective about them and, conversely, when to fight for them How to foster mutual respect within teams while still bashing bad ideas The Right Kind of Crazy is a book for anyone who wants to channel their craziness into creativity, balance discord and harmony, and find a signal in a flood of noise.

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      Published :2018-08-12T01:12:05+00:00

    One thought on “The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation”

    1. I am clearly not the intended audience for this book. In it, the guy who lead the EDL (Entry, Descent, and Landing) team for Mars Science Laboratory talks about becoming an aerospace engineer, his early career at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and his eventual role as EDL lead for MSL. I think it's intended to be some sort of "inspirational" story about doing things that seem impossible and facing team challenges, but it didn't come off that way to me. Maybe I'm jaded. I work in the space indus [...]

    2. My first takeaway from "The Right Kind of Crazy" by Adam Steltzner is this: If you want to achieve a come-to-Jesus moment, you need to un-f***-up whatever is holding you back.Such is the brash but ultimately likable sentiment of Dr. Steltzner’s book, co-written with William Patrick. When his team successfully landed NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars in 2012, Steltzner oversaw arguably the most revered NASA landing since Apollo 11 reached the surface of the Moon. To understand this incredible en [...]

    3. *I received a complimentary ARC through First Reads*I feel kinda a mixed bag for this book. First of all I love the unconventional life story of the author. But I did not feel as though I learned anything about excellence and leadership. If I were to be presented with an opportunity to hear the author speak, I would immediately sign up. His enthusiasm and humor is definitely the strengths but overall not what I expected.

    4. Interesting and inspiring story about life and work of a space engineer. He mentions a lot of things which sound unpleasant, complicated or deadly boring. But also there are a lot of things I'd wish to know or experience. This book is a hymn to engineers in some way :)

    5. I fucking love Adam!This is the story of his life and career, starting from his belated education (he started community college at 21), to the beginning of his career at JPL doing structural analysis (a relatively monotonous engineering job) to leading the entry, descent, landing team for the Curiosity rover.In my opinion, Adam offers a deeply insightful commentary from the context of building a Mars rover landing system relevant to any undertaking that pushes beyond the bounds of the ordinary t [...]

    6. I think this book is more about High-Stakes Innovation and the author's personal career-story than Teamwork and Leadership. After reading half of the book, I decided the content was not what I was expecting from the title. The unique engineering situation at JPL is interesting. However, I am not so much into rocket science and engineering, so a lot of times I got a little bit lost when there was too much technical details. But then, if those technical aspects were talked about in a too sentiment [...]

    7. This book's entertaining, and deals with subject matter (unmanned planetary explorers) that interests me a good bit. So why just 3 stars vs. 4 or even 5? I just found the style off-putting, reading more like one of those awful "business leadership" books you always see in airport bookstores than a story crafted by an engineer trying to communicate the joy they find in their work. Steltzner led the invention and development of the "sky crane" descent/landing technology for the Mars Pathfinder, a [...]

    8. It's ironic that this book makes the best case for a liberal arts education because it is about what an engineer does. It is about the Curiosity rover on Mars, but it is really about what an engineer does and how they solve problems. If it sounds dry, what until you get to the chapter about how they solved the parachute issue. It's absolutely riveting.How to frame the question, how to encourage a collaborative environment and how to work well with others are way beyond the science and math param [...]

    9. The author details his work at JPL, and his work on the Mars lander along with other projects. It's a interesting take on how he used the team management concepts he highlights during the development several projects.While the author gives several suggestions on the important concepts it is not completely clear on how these concepts can be applied in all setting.I enjoyed it but might need a second read to appreciate it.

    10. I had the privilege of hearing Mr. Steltzner speak at a Simulation conference. He was captivating and obviously very passionate about life. I think that energy shone through in his book. I did enjoy the book but to really understand it and appreciate it the full scope of the book, you need an engineering background at the least.

    11. I am bias here due to my obsession with Mars and the success NASA has had exploring the red planet. This book is a great look into one of the major players on these types of projects and how he approaches critical decisions with billions of dollars in the balance and no plan B.

    12. Good biographical account mixed in with an insider's view of this mission. The right amounts of humor, leadership lessons and storytelling.

    13. We met Dr Steltzner at the kickoff of the "Discover Space!" summer program at our local library. He was an enthralling speaker, and his book is just as fascinating.

    14. This book was fantastic. Whether you're an engineer, someone who loves space, or someone who just likes thinking outside the box this book will have something for you.

    15. Good Inspiring reading on leadership under duress. Provided good insight on JPL and NASA culture and the type of leadership , teamwork and grit it take to accomplish these projects.

    16. Part memoir, part leadership and career advice, and part introduction to landing a spacecraft on Mars, this is a very interesting book, suitable for public libraries and undergraduate/collage libraries.The first thing that attracted me to this book is its dedication:"Dr. Prata helped me find that spark of curiosity that led to a fire of exploration and learning that changed my life, burned across the span of time, and put me where I am today." Adam Steltzner, the chief engineer in charge of the [...]

    17. I won this as part of a giveaway. I really wanted to like this book. I'm very interested in the space program and the author has a fascinating and unusual personal story and path to JPL. My expectations were pretty high for the book as a result; possibly unfairly high. The book starts out talking a bit about the author and where he comes from, how he got started at JPL, etc. The stated intent of the book is to be a leadership guide with illustrations of his personal experience woven throughout. [...]

    18. I highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates space exploration or engineering. The author (and his co-writer) shares the story of his career growth, which includes working on some high-visibility programs run by JPL. Anyone ever heard of Curiosity?Steltzner shares some technical highlights and surprises. He has particularly good insights regarding risk management and selling to the customer. Not everything is roses and sunshine though. Steltzner talks about real-world problems, includi [...]

    19. Generally I have expectations for books before I read them, if only formed the moment I pick the book up off the shelf. I found this on the new book shelf and was intrigued by the title; once I determined what it was about, by the subject. I reminded myself: Your daughter is in an engineering program, perhaps you should read something about engineers (albeit rocket scientist engineers, which is quite different than her aspirations). And really the book is as much about leadership in the workplac [...]

    20. The book was not well structured or edited, and probably wraps a little more technical and personal details than necessary. It reads like a lightly edited oral interview except for the epilogue. That being said, there is a lack of books in the genre of traditional engineering, compared to large volume of books in computer and internet engineering. That alone makes this book unique and especially interesting to read. And peel off the some time self-centered rhetoric, the life lessons from the aut [...]

    21. This fascinating book describes the program to successfully land the $2.5B Mars Curiosity rover and Mars Science Laboratory in 2012 after a nine month journey. Building on the successful Viking program and the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers, the team at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena devised a “Rube Goldberg” scheme that many characterized as the “seven minutes of terror” to land a #2000 Volkswagen Beetle sized rover on Mars by reducing the atmospheric entry speed of 13,000 mph t [...]

    22. In the months leading up to the landing of the Curiosity Rover at Gale Crater, NASA-JPL released an excellent little video called "Seven Minutes of Terror". In this detailed, but stone cold sober, video NASA JPL engineers talked about the hows and the whys of designing and building the rover. They also spoke of what could happen if just one or two items did not go as planned. Adam Stelzner was one of the engineers interviewed in the video. "The Right Kind of Crazy" could have been "Seven Minutes [...]

    23. Overall entertaining book with well-written, well-paced prose on engineering in the aerospace program. Approaching this book as a memoir, I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of Steltzner's late arrival to the scientific community, the trial and error learning of management skills and the complexity of developing the Curiosity Rover mission. As a book about leadership I found several interesting points that I could apply to my own work ("find something to love about everyone on the team" and "h [...]

    24. This book tries to blend autobiography, business thought leadership, and science together but ends up with a murky mix that doesn't really satisfy any of those goals. The book focuses on the team lead for the successful landing of Curiosity on Mars. From this experience he hopes to provide a perspective on how to engage smart people to build challenging projects. While there are a couple of nuggets of wisdom, I feel like the self reflection and analysis, especially concerning his personal life, [...]

    25. "The Right Kind of Crazy" is an enlightening and very readable look inside the workings of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the talented, creative engineers, and scientists working there. It is told by a veteran of the Mars Curiosity Mission, and provides a keen insight into what makes such a monumental task as landing a rover on Mars possible. This book is not just for science nerds but will be appreciated by the average human. It is a tribute to how a group of dedicated people make the seemin [...]

    26. Not your run-of-the-mill leadership book, this one was highly entertaining (though I'm not sure how much of that was intentional). The author/protagonist is a somewhat egoistic engineer with a free spirit and loads of self-assurance. He ends up at JPL and involved in some pretty gnarly, rocket sciencey projects, which he takes charge of because well, you'll see. The point is that there's definitely some good leadership material here, some fascinating insights into JPL and NASA, and quite an amus [...]

    27. Is this a memoir? a history of the Mars Curiosity rover? a set of management lessons? a exposition of engineering? It is all of these and falls short everywhere. Too bad because a little focus on just one aspect might have made this a good book.The author comes across as arrogant (he admits he is). He'd be hard to work for but he is successful. Citing Rumsfled's "unknown unknowns" rap is disconcerting. And the author refers to (but does not overtly admit using) a management technique that should [...]

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